What’s the first thing you do when you have to go someplace you’ve never been? You look at a map to figure out how to get there. Either you or your GPS plots the best route to get where you’re going.
Why should it be any different for building your business?
Sure, you might be able to wing it and still get there. Eventually. After making several wrong turns and following an inefficient route. Or you may end up going off in the wrong direction.
What’s going on when you are fumbling around trying to figure out where you’re going? You’re irritable? Agitated? Pissing off everyone else in the car?
Why would it be any different in your business?
Keeping up our map analogy, you have the three things you need to plot a course for your business.
- The destination (your vision)
- The starting point (your current assessment)
- The roads that lead toward the destination (the things that need to change)
Your job now is to decide which roads to take, in which order, to get where you want to go.
Here’s how to do that.
- Make a list of all the things you need to change in your business
- Prioritize that list
- Get to work on making the changes
Simple. But not necessarily easy.
How to prioritize
As you work on your list, use these criteria to help you prioritize.
Does the item require that you’ve already completed something else? If so, you have a natural order to follow.
What items will move you closest to your goal in the shortest time? Those go closer to the top of the list. Think of it like taking the expressway instead of city streets.
Does the item really help you get to your goal at all? Or is it just something you’d like to do? This is the flip side of the last question. If it doesn’t directly contribute to reaching your goal, it goes to the bottom of the list. Better yet, it gets crossed off the list.
Does the item address an urgent or critical problem in the business? Those go first. You don’t sit around planning a renovation while the house is on fire.
Move the items around on your list until you are satisfied they are all in the right place.
Getting the work done
Most business owners I work with try to go to work on everything at once. They figure the faster they get them done, the faster they reach their goal.
There’s a problem with that approach.
Every time, it’s the same result. None of the items get done. They don’t get done because the owner is trying to do too many things at once. There is no focus.
The way to avoid this trap is focus. Focus on the most important thing and you will get it done faster and better than if you try to do everything at once.
The other trap many owners fall into is expecting too much too fast. Often, the changes that need to be made will require work. Work that takes time. Depending on the size of your list, you could be on the 2 to 3 year plan to get it done. Don’t expect major transformation in a few weeks.
The best thing you can do is be methodical. Break each item down into steps and work the steps every day. It might not feel like you are making much progress on any given day. But you’ll be surprised at how much progress that adds up to over weeks and months of sustained effort.
What are your top three items to build your business? Let us know in the comments.
Need help getting started, let’s talk.